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DYK: Delay in State Authorization Regulations until July 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has delayed the implementation of the December 19, 2016, State Authorization section of the Program Integrity and Improvement regulations.  The new effective date for the bulk of the December 2016 State Authorization regulations is July 1, 2020.  A news item, “DeVos Delays State Authorization Rules,” in Inside Higher Ed first reported this delay as official on Monday, July 02, 2018.

Although the final regulations were published in December 2016, due to the “Master Calendar” requirements in the law, the effective date of the regulations was set to be July 1, 2018.  This new Final Rule delays the implementation and effective date until July 1, 2020.  The delay is to allow for appropriate time to conduct another round of negotiated rulemaking to address significant concerns propagated by a wide-sector of higher education groups related to several terms utilized in the regulations.  For example, there are numerous questions raised by what it means for a student to be considered a “resident” of a state, particularly in a distance education environment.

This Final Rule was signed by Secretary Betsy DeVos on June 28, 2018, and is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 3, 2018.

The preamble of the rule announcing this delay in effective date has interesting background and discussion related to several aspects of consumer information requirements.  Institutions—especially those who offer programs via distance education—are encouraged to read this background information.  And, it is important to note that ED is not delaying §600.9(d) (State authorization of foreign locations of domestic institution regulations).  Therefore, any institution who offers distance education to students not residing in the United States, or that offers a program “on the ground” in another country in which a student may receive fifty percent or more of his or her program requirements, such institution must still disclose to enrolled and prospective students at foreign additional locations and foreign branch campuses the information regarding the student complaint process described in 34 CFR 668.43(b), of the state in which the main campus of the institution is located.


Should you have any questions regarding the information in this edition of our DYK, please feel free to contact FAME Customer Service through the Client Solution Center.


This material is presented for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be giving legal advice.


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